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Film

Lanzmann awarded lifetime achievement award at Berlinale

Claude Lanzmann has accepted a Golden Bear lifetime achievement award at the Berlin Film Festival. The French filmmaker and producer is known around the world for his groundbreaking documentary "Shoah."

Lanzmann accepted the award, called the Ehrenbär, Thursday evening at the 63rd Berlin Film Festival. The head of the event, Dieter Kosslick, presented the 87-year-old Lanzmann with the prize.

"It's a big evening for you and for us all," Kosslick said.

The French filmmaker is best known "Shoah," his 1985 documentary on the Holocaust. The nine-hour epic features interviews with survivors and footage taken at several Nazi death camps, and first premiered at the Berlin Film Festival.

Present Ulrich Gregor called the film a milestone in cultural memory.

"It was like an answer to all the questions we had always pursued," Gregor said.

Lanzmann said that during his 12 years of working on the film he always clung to one thought: "I knew that 'Shoah' would be a liberation for the Germans from their long silence, and they would again be able to openly speak about their own pain."

The Berlin Film Festival's top prize, the Golden Bear, will be awarded for the current best film on Saturday.

dr/jm (dpa, AFP)